Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lentil Squash-salad Boats

All aboard the USDA Organic Delicata.
As far as squash boats go, this one is see-worthy, light and won't weigh you down like those Titanic types. So if you’re jonesing for some beefcake like Leo, you’d best board another boat. Even with its deep flavor, this hearty vegan dish is really quite delicate, hence the name of the squash: delicata. And since it's organic, you can also eat the skin—a plus for lazy seafarers. But if the delicata doesn't float your boat, you can use any other squash that floats, like butternut, acorn, kabocha, a pumpkin or even your garden-variety zucchini. 

If you're a landlubber, you can skip the boat altogether and eat this earthy Lentil Squash Salad on good old terra firma—or better yet—a plate. What makes it so earthy and lubbable? It's the robust yet visually camouflaged capers, bold marjoram, caramel-y roasted garlic, zesty sun-dried tomatoes and a zingy Dijon-shallot vinaigrette. Wow, that was a boatload of adjectives.

While you may attribute this Lentil Squash-salad Boat’s brilliance to its shipbuilder (and it would indeed be fitting), it was quite a serendipitous journey. After I had roasted butternut and delicata squash halves and put some of them into the salad, there were two empty delicata vessels just sitting there that I knew could easily transport luscious legumes to the mouth of a hungry river. The Colorado? The Mississippi? The Nile? No, the mighty Lentil Breakdown! Lentil Squash-salad Boats can be served cold, room temperature or warm.* 

*Lifejacket not required

Lentil Squash-salad Boats (vegan and gluten-free)
2 small organic delicata squashes*
3 cloves garlic
Olive oil
1 cup dried French green lentils
1 heaping TBSP sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
2 tsp of capers
¼ teaspoon marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup olive oil
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp minced shallot (about half a medium shallot)

Preheat oven to 400ยบ. Cut squashes in half, discard seeds and insides, then rub flesh with olive oil as well as the three garlic cloves (still in their skins). Place squashes flesh down on a cookie sheet along with the garlic, add a little salt and pepper and roast.

Boil lentils in salted water for about 20 minutes until al dente but chewy. Drain and let cool. Make vinaigrette. When squash is soft, remove from oven and let cool. Cut up one of the halves into small chunks and mince the roasted garlic (may be a bit soft, but try to evenly disperse in salad. Golden and crunchy is good too—but not burnt). 

When lentils are cool, add garlic, squash chunks, capers, marjoram, about 2/3 of the vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Let sit at least an hour.

* I used butternut squash also in the salad, but it’s not necessary.
** This makes more vinaigrette than you’ll need. Use the leftover for salad dressing.

Lentil’s Breakdown

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, certified USDA organic means:

Organic crops. The USDA organic seal verifies that irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms were not used.

Organic livestock. The USDA organic seal verifies that producers met animal health and welfare standards, did not use antibiotics or growth hormones, used 100% organic feed, and provided animals with access to the outdoors.

Organic multi-ingredient foods. The USDA organic seal verifies that the product has 95% or more certified organic content. If the label claims that it was made with specified organic ingredients, you can be sure that those specific ingredients are certified organic.

Veggie-stuffed Eggplant


  1. I LOVE your boats, and as usual, your witty, nautical post! Beautiful photos, too, Adair! Great job!

  2. I like your idea of sailing! Your see-worthy boats look delicious.

  3. I lubb your adjectives, your recipe and your photos. I think I need to borrow that blue plate.

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  6. The deck is covered in a waterproof material which I haven't yet decided if it counts as sails, canopies or false panels on the bridge. Thicker supports appear to be holding the entire craft from being dragged into the river by passing barges.If you live up north and are considering heading down for this weekend's visit of "The Herbivore Tour", check out their website for specific times and locations